The 5:00 a.m. forecast discussion from the Anchorage, Alaska office of the National Weather Service looked innocuous enough. It contained the usual meteorological information about the coming day’s weather.
However, if readers look closely at the first paragraph, there was a hidden message to be found. The first letter of each line, when put together, spells out ‘PLEASE PAY US.’
A subsequent issuance of the discussion bearing the time stamp had been rephrased so as to remove the message. Not until of course word about the message spread through social media.
Much of the federal government is shutdown and the majority of civilian employees are on furlough. However, the National Weather Service continues to operate at higher staffing levels than most other agencies due to its life-saving mission.
Those employees still working however are facing the prospect of doing so for free until the government is funded again. At that time they will recoup the money they haven’t been paid.
Dan Sobien, president of the National Weather Service Employees Organization, told Popular Science, "There's no money to pay them. Nobody knows when anyone's going to get paid."